House debates

Monday, 22 February 2010

Statements by Members

Solar Energy

4:19 pm

Photo of Dennis JensenDennis Jensen (Tangney, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

This government’s towering incompetence is causing enormous damage to hardworking small business people, who are also working families, in my electorate. One such company is Austech Solar, a company which installs solar panels, about which there has been much grossly undeserved self-congratulation by this government. The company is suffering because of business undertaken on the understanding that this government could be trusted. This company is now finding out just how wrong that is. In order to ascertain the precise situation in relation to moneys owing by this financially delinquent and uncaring government, the company had a statement prepared and they found that total rebates due and payable by the federal government to Key Factors/Austech Solar is $3.144 million. This is an enormous debt burden for a company of that size to carry, and not surprisingly this company is approaching the financial brink. I have been told that the CEO and company:

… appreciate the very few payments that have come through the SHCP, however, there are still many installations still delayed and waiting to be processed and paid to Austech Solar.

The running of our company has been very difficult as there are too many expenses to pay, supply is being held up in the wharf, there are employees resigning due to lack of payment and staff are very close to being unemployed, which of that we are currently employing over 50 full time staff plus contractors.

Austech Solar is finding it very difficult to function due to the lack of payments owed to our company, every week we are processing 60 or more applications valued at $8000.00 each ($480,000.00) or more and yet only receiving very petty amounts not even enough to pay my staff wages not including the mass amounts of expenses incurred by a premium solar company trying to cater for over 2000 clients who’s rebates are ending very shortly.

He continues:

We are facing great risk only at the cost of SHCP’s actions of not delivering and paying what is due to Austech Solar moreover the lack of support from the DEWHA. Our company has advised you and the department of the troubles faced and made aware of the expenses and risk’s involved with insufficient payments made by DEWHA.

This is a disgrace. The failure of this government to make these payments just shows how its ministers have no idea how businesses are run.

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